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Vanessa Van Edwards on How Body Language Can Make You Happier, More Confident, & More Successful

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“Can we train someone to change their first impression – their first 7 seconds – by using alpha cues in an authentic way? I do believe so.'”
— Vanessa Van Edwards

This episode is brought to you ad-free by the Amazon Affiliate Program. Please consider doing your shopping through this link.

My guest today is published author, behavioral investigator, and fellow Udemy instructor Vanessa Van Edwards. She is a professional people watcher—speaking, researching and cracking the code of interesting human behavior for audiences around the world. Her groundbreaking workshops and courses teach individuals how to succeed in relationships and in life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people. Besides being a Huffington Post columnist and Penguin author, She has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today. She has even written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes.

Cool fact – she was actually trained by Dr. Paul Ekman, who is the real-life version of the main character in the popular show “Lie To Me.”

You’ll notice that we dive pretty deep and geek out on body language and charisma really fast. What can I say? Vanessa is, after all, an expert in communication and getting people to open up. The end result is an interview jam-packed with usable tips and inspiring anecdotes that will get you sitting up straight and paying more attention to the image you are presenting! I know you’re going to enjoy it.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Vanessa quickly became her own brand & success story
  • Some basic background on the huge importance of nonverbal communication
  • A few of the small changes you can make to dramatically transform how you're perceived
  • How nonverbal communication also applies to phone and recorded speech
  • The two-way relationship between our facial expressions and our emotions
  • Why standing can be pivotal for phone calls and interviews
  • Can we permanently change our personality by modifying our body language?
  • The most effective pose or stance for optimizing your confidence levels
  • The fact that I'm a total weirdo who gives people unsolicited body language advice in social situations
  • How hard is it to train yourself to have better nonverbal communication?
  • Elevated testosterone, and how body language can improve it for both men and women
  • Pheromones and body language – please feel free to share some research if you have it!
  • A sneak peak of the 30 techniques that Vanessa Van Edwards teaches her students
  • Why “closed” body language may feel more comfortable, and what to do about it
  • “Alpha” behavior, and what we can learn by studying “Alphas”
  • Real-world success stories of how body language can change people's lives
  • What are the other elements of what people call “charisma?”
  • Books that Vanessa Van Edwards recommends
  • People in the public eye that have exemplary body language skills

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Vanessa Van Edwards:

“If you can nail never closing your body windows… it will help everything else.”
“When we cross our arms over our chest, of course we feel more comfortable, because our arms are blocking and protecting our vital organs!”

Here is that video that Vanessa mentioned, too:



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

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